By: Writer of the Shadows
I believe that sometimes, good things happen for no reason and bad things happen for no reason. You just have to see the good in every situation. When I fell off the swing in kindergarten, it hurt a lot, but I also made a new friend, Britney, because of it. She has been my friend all this time. This year we graduate high school together. I remember her beautiful blonde hair tickling my face every time I fell down. She was always there when I needed her. So, yes, sometimes, bad things bring good things.
Volleyball practice was brutal. At least a thousand push-ups, twenty laps, and we worked on digging today. I pull on jeans over my spandex and follow Brit to the game. Her boyfriend is one of the starters and so she goes to every game. Which means I go to every game. Honestly, I’m not a football fan.
We win. Again. We have a winning streak of 37 games in a row. Not that that really matters to me but it sure matters to some people. I follow her to the locker room. This is the first time I’ve been in here but she practically dragged me. She runs to her boyfriend and starts to make out with him.
“Of course.” I roll my eyes and walk back out. I grab my phone and text her saying that I will see her tomorrow at the meeting. I know that she will get it after.
I wake up later than usual but that’s ok cuz I am excused for the day. It’s this weird volleyball thing. I don’t even know what it is; I just have to be there at 8:00.
I meet Brit outside the gym and we walk in together. We’ve already changed into our practice clothes. We walk in to see everyone already there including the football team. Brit runs up and hugs her boyfriend without a second thought about why he is here. I walk up to coach.
“Um, coach? Why are they here?”
“I’ll explain that in a minute.”
I walk back to my team and ask if they knew anything. They didn’t think anything of it. I guess I’m the only one who thinks that this is weird. But as usual they all think for themselves. We work as a team but they don’t think of anyone outside of the team. I hear Coaches whistle and turn around. As does everyone else.
“Ok everyone listen up. Your football coach and I have decided that these two teams have no respect for the other. Starting today, you will all be learning the other sport. You are excused for two weeks. You will have practice everyday from 8:00 to 3:00.” All I can think right now is how much I don’t like football. I mean so many people get hurt, I think it’s pointless. She calls one of the football players and tells him that he will be coaching us football. I’m still lost in my thoughts when she says,
“Jess,” I jerk my head up in time to hear the rest.
“You will be coaching the football players to play volleyball. Now everyone go to where you need to be.” Ok. Wait, what? I rush over to my coach.
“Um what are you thinking? I can’t coach them to play volleyball, they’re football players. They scare me.”
“To be honest, the scare me a little bit too, but I know that you can do it. Turn around and start coaching, they’re waiting.” I turn around to see the football players waiting for me to tell them what to do. I turn back and Coach is gone. I take a deep breath and turn to face all of them.
“Thousand push ups now.” Brit’s boyfriend, Chris, is the first to speak up.
“A thousand push ups?”
“Yeah your all football players I’m sure you can handle it.” They reluctantly go into plank position. I walk to my stuff on the bleachers, away from the football players, to think. Someone starts to speak up but before they can really start I say,
“You’re not done with a thousand yet.” I turn around and see that most of them are doing push ups like 3rd graders. This is gonna be a long 2 weeks.
We spent the first day going over the rules, the second day going over the basics, and the third day going over the basics. I understand that everyone has their sport but I didn’t ever think that the basics were this hard. A week passed by and I started to get along with and actually like some of the guys. I met Brit outside of the gym on Friday. She was wearing her shoulder pads and looked kinda ridiculous.
“Oh you like it? I’m calling it linebacker chic.”
“Oh how original.”
“Wait. I know that look. You like someone.” I gotta admit I have been thinking about this one guy a lot.
“What? I don’t know if you’d call it that.”
“Oooo who is it? No, let me guess. It’s not my Chris is it?”
“What? No. Hmmm. Black, shaggy hair… Blue eyes…”
“How did you know?”
“I know a lot of the football players, besides he’s just your type.”
“Do I even have a type?”
“Everyone has a type.” I get in my car and drive her home and continue the drive back to my house. When I pull in the driveway, I sit and stare at myself in the rearview mirror. Do I really like him? I get out of my car. Yeah, I guess I do.
On Monday I bring a copy of one of our games for the guys to watch. They all set up on the bleachers and I pull the projector screen down. The video starts playing. Towards the end of the game we see Brit set me up and I hit it. I hit it straight to a girls face and broke her nose. Blood was gushing everywhere. I totally forgot about this.
“Sorry about this guys. I didn’t know that this was on this video.”
“You broke a girls nose?” asks Tommy.
“Yeah, we do so many push ups that it’s pretty easy to break a girls nose. Especially when you do it right.” I turn off the projector and start into another lesson.
Friday came and the football players were now half volleyball players. I was impressed at their improvement. I decided to give them half the day to do whatever. They decided on karaoke in the locker rooms. I watched and they weren’t very good. At the end Tommy called me out.
“We still haven’t heard you sing yet.” And Chris chimes in,
“Yeah. Brit tells me that you have an amazing voice.” It takes a lot more begging but I finally cave. I’ve only ever sang in front of Brit. I choose The Only Exception by Paramore and the entire time I was thinking of Tommy. What’s gotten into me? I walk-run back into the gym afterwards. I sit at the top of the bleachers. Tommy comes and sits by me.
“You have an amazing voice.”
“So do you.”
“I already know I’m terrible. No need to sugar coat it.” I laugh and he smiles. Damn his smile is just….
“Is it weird? If I was thinking…of you while I sang?” I look at my shoes as if they are the most interesting things in the world right now.
“No.” He kisses me on the cheek. “Not at all.” He walks down to the gym floor and I stare. I know that I shouldn’t but I can’t help it. The rest of them funnel into the gym and then I see Brit at the doors. I rush down the stairs and almost into her.
“Hey what are you doing here? Never mind I sang that one song by Paramore in front of them and I don’t even know why I caved but I did and I was thinking about Tommy the whole time and then I ran out of there and he followed me and I told him that I was thinking about him and asked if that was weird and he kissed me on the cheek and said that it wasn’t and omg I don’t even know what to think right now.”
“Whoa slow down there. Oh my god! I can’t believe this. This is a big step for you.”
“I know I’m like…. I can’t even…”
“I know, I know it all comes with the territory.”
“Remember when we used to dance the rain. It’s raining right now.” She grabs my hand and rags me out the door. Immediately, we are soaked. I start to laugh and she spins around. I spread my arms and spin too. The ground is covered in a layer of water already. The guys come out to see what we are doing. I get a running start and then slide 15 feet. Tommy slides towards me too, spraying me, as he gets closer. I cringe away from the spray automatically. He stops right in front of me, pulls me close, and kisses me. He pulls away but I kiss him again and he doesn’t resist. I wrap my arms around his neck. Finally we both pull away. I bite my lip and take a few steps back, eager to tell Brit what just happened. I turn and run smack into Brit.
“Oh my god, Oh my god. Did you just see that? I can’t believe this actually happened. Oh my god. This isn’t real. Yes. I’m dreaming. Wait, no I’m not. Sigh. Oh my god this actually happened.”
“Yeah, I saw. You kissed him back! I’m so proud.” I look back at Tommy and he looks at me while Chris is taking to him. I wave and he waves back. I smile to myself. You know, sometimes really good things come from bad things.
On Wednesday, August 31, 2022, the Wellness Committee of D70 brought in Kyle Scheele, a motivational speaker and author, to talk to our entire student body at PCHS.